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FanDuel NBA Plays: Thursday

by Andy “A25Smith” Smith
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:01 pm ET

Every Thursday I’ll be bringing you my favorite FanDuel NBA Plays.

The NBA All-Star break is finally over, and we have two great matchups tonight, as Dallas plays at Oklahoma City (-5.5, 212) and the Spurs travel to L.A. to face the Clippers (+3, 203.5).

Unfortunately they are the only two games of the night, so it’s a very short slate, but after a weeklong break we’ll take what we can get. Here are my top plays:

Point Guard

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,900 – When we look over the NBA odds, this game is projected to be highest scoring of the two games tonight, and the Thunder are projected to score the most points of the night. With that in mind, having some exposure to Westbrook and/or Durant is a must. In the Thunder’s last game before the All-Star break, Westbrook lit up a great Memphis defense for 46 FD points and a near triple double in only 32 minutes. He then went on to win the All Star game MVP, so he is on a roll. Even with Durant back in the lineup, Westbrook still has a very high ceiling, as shown by his recent 80-FanDuel-point game against the Pelicans. The Thunder are still battling to get into the playoffs and I’m expecting a big finish to the season from Westbrook and Durant as they attempt to put the Thunder on the shoulders and solidify a playoff spot. The Mavericks are 25th in DVP against opposing PGs, so this is a great spot for Westbrook to continue his incredible play.

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs, $5,400 - Parker is very cheap and is starting to turn things around. He’s had a nice long All-Star break and has played at least 28 minutes in each of his past eight games. His production is on the rise, and at this price you only need around 25 FD points to hit value, a mark that he has hit in three of his last four games. The matchup with CP3 is certainly not ideal, but Parker did drop 26 points on the Clippers in an earlier game this year, and is averaging 14.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists against the Clippers on the season. With Rajon Rondo expected to return and taking J.J. Barea off the table, Parker is the top value PG option on the night.

Also Consider – Chris Paul
    
Shooting Guard

J. J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers, $4,500 - In the two games Redick has played since Blake Griffin’s injury, he is averaging 14 FGA, which is four more than his season average, to go with 17.5 PPG. He has topped 5x value in each of those games and should continue to see increased usage. With Griffin out, the Clippers will need more production from the SG position, and they were running more set plays for Redick in his last outing against the Rockets, as they were running him off of double and staggered screens. The Spurs are number one in DVP against opposing SGs this year, so the matchup is very tough. However, his price hasn’t adjusted to his new role in the offense, so there is some built in value to make up for the matchup.

Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers, $5,400 - I think saving money at the SG position and doubling up with Clippers SGs is a great option tonight. DeAndre Jordan gets his points off of guard penetration and offensive rebounds, and Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes struggle to get their own shot. As a result, the Clippers will rely on CP3, Redick and Crawford to try to pick up Griffin’s production, and the latter two are still cheap. Crawford has at least 20 real points in each of the three games Griffin has been out, and is averaging almost 20 FGA in that span. Not surprisingly, his production has spiked - he has been right at or above 5x value in each of those games.

Also Consider - Manu Ginobili

Small Forward

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,700 - The main question with KD tonight isn’t whether he is a good play (spoiler alert: he is), it’s whether you can comfortably roster both him and Westbrook tonight. The Thunder are projected to score the most points and need wins, since they are still outside of the playoff picture. KD’s toe is feeling much better, and you should see him and Westbrook really pick up their play down the stretch. He just put 50 FD points on the Grizzlies in 34 minutes, and should excel in an up-tempo matchup with the Mavericks. I also really like Matt Barnes and Kawhi Leonard tonight, so there are alternatives at the SF position, but with the value from the Clippers, you can fit both KD and Westbrook into your FanDuel NBA lineups.

Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, $7,700 - If you’d rather go with a more balanced approach, dropping down from Durant to Leonard is a viable alternative. You’ll need around 40 FD points from him to pay off his salary, and that is certainly in play against the Clippers, who are 24th in DVP against SFs on the season and dead last over the last three weeks. He has excelled against the weak Clippers wing defense this year, as he is averaging 25 PPG, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 3 steals in two meetings. Another positive for Leonard is that Pop has recently shown that he is willing to play him heavy minutes - he has played at least 31 minutes in four of his last five games.

Also Consider - Matt Barnes

Power Forward

Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, $7,700 - With Duncan, it’s all about predicting whether the Spurs will roll him out there for 30 minutes, or whether they will limit his minutes in that particular game. At 7.7K, we want around 37 to 40 FD points from him. Looking at his game logs, he has hit that mark in each of his last five games that he has played at least 29 minutes. The Spurs eased him into the All-Star break, as he played only 18 minutes against Detroit, and the week-long break will benefit him more than most. Also, the Spurs and Clippers played in the first game after last year’s All-Star break and Duncan played 38 minutes. I definitely wouldn’t expect 38 minutes from him this time around, but I think he plays between 29 to 32 minutes tonight. With it being a short slate and with Duncan being well rested, it looks like a good spot to gamble that he will play the necessary minutes. He draws a tremendous matchup with the Blake Griffin-less Clippers, who will be throwing Spencer Hawes, Big Baby and maybe a little DeAndre Jordan at him.

Nick Collison, Oklahoma City Thunder, $3,800 - With Griffin out, the PF position is very thin tonight, so it’s a position where I’m more willing to roll the dice. I certainly don’t mind Dirk Nowitzki at $6,500 for cash games, but with Tyson Chandler as well as Rajon Rondo expected to return, his upside is limited. Don’t be fooled by his recent uptick in rebounding, as that came with Chandler out of the lineup. If you’re looking to fit a few of the big names like Westbrook, Durant and Jordan, you’ll need to save somewhere. Mitch McGary has been the popular punt play at PF, so I think Collison is a sneaky pivot as a punt PF for GPPs. He has played more minutes than McGary in each of the past two games, and he’s a guy that Scott Brooks trusts in tough matchups. That was evident against the Memphis Grizzlies, as he played 28 minutes and piled up 32 FD points, while McGary only played 15 minutes. With Steven Adams out, there are extra minutes to go around, as Kendrick Perkins hasn’t topped 25 minutes yet, so Collison could continue to see 25+ minutes a night like he has over the past two games. This game should be competitive, and in situations like this, Brooks has shown he trusts his veterans, like Collison, over younger players like McGary. Also, it looks like there is a possibility that Kendrick Perkins could possibly be traded to Brooklyn, so keep your eye out, as that would open up a ton of minutes in the OKC frontcourt.

Also Consider – Serge Ibaka and Mitch McGary (if Kendrick Perkins is traded)

Center

DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers, $9,000 - Jordan was lackluster in his first game with Griffin out, but he absolutely went bonkers in the next two games, with two 20/20 performances in a row. His price has skyrocketed as a result, but he has 59 and 62 FD points in those two games, so it’s warranted. With Griffin out, you’re probably looking at a floor of 16 rebounds a game, with upside well into the 20s. The Spurs haven’t defended the center position well all year, as they are 18th in DVP against the position on the year and 19th over the last three weeks. It will be tough to fit Westbrook, Durant and Jordan all into a lineup, so you could see him much lower owned than expected.

Tyson Chandler, Dallas Mavericks, $6,500 - Chandler is expected to return to the lineup and should be a popular option at this price. The Thunder have defended the center position well this year, but will be without Steven Adams, and Kendrick Perkins doesn’t play heavy minutes, so this isn’t as tough of a matchup as it appears. Prior to his injury, Chandler was on a nice run, as he has topped 35 FD in three of his previous five games.

Also Consider - Spencer Hawes (GPP)

Andy “A25Smith” Smith
Andy has been playing fantasy sports for 15 years started playing Daily Fantasy Sports in 2012 with a $150 bankroll and is now ranked in the top 50 of the RotoGrinders leaderboard, including the top 15 in CFB and top 25 in NBA, under the name A25Smith. You can follow him on Twitter @SouthwesternAg.